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Photographer's Note

Some of you may still remember that soon after taking this photo I left Mandalay on an overnight bus.

I arrived at Lake Inle (which is the name of the town by the lake as well as the lake itself) at 4 am the next morning. As soon as I got off the bus I was approached by a group of taxi drivers offering their services as well as a wide range of accommodation options from budget to… budget.

“I don’t want a hotel… just yet”, I said. “I want a taxi to the western shore of the lake to take photos of sunrise.”

A long discussion followed, partly in Burmese among the drivers, partly in English with me. My Lonely Planet was passed from one pair of hands to another with several fingers pointing at the map of Lake Inle.

“Not possible, Madam”, the verdict was finally announced. “But I have a better option for you”.

The “better option” turned out to be a SUNRISE photoshoot on the EAST shore of the lake. “Lake here, sunrise here, and you in the middle, Madam”. Brilliant…

“Ok, I shall walk”, was my reply.

After another 10 minutes’ discussion, one of them said:

“My brother will take you there in his tuk tuk, but it will cost 15 dollars”.

Now, 15 dollars is a lot of money for a fairly short (but too-far-to-walk-with-all-the-luggage-and-still-get-their-in-time-for-sunrise) tuk tuk ride but this was an emergency. As the old adage goes: “sunrise and tide wait for no man”.

We set off into the darkness, no lights, not another living (I mean “awake” but “living” sounds more dramatic, don’t you think?) being around. The ride was bumpy and noisy and I felt cold sitting in the back of the tuk tuk open to elements.

After half an hour we reached… a massive gate. My tuk tuk driver got off and approached the security guard. Some money changed hands.

The gate opened, we drove in and parked. A few minutes later I was standing, camera on the tripod, by the lake, watching the amazing pink sky, as the curtain of night was slowly lifted to uncover one of the nature’s most beautiful spectacles – the sunrise.

The west bank of Lake Inle is reserved for big expensive hotels and tourist resorts. To take photos like this, one needs to get a room for 100-400 dollars. Not my style of travel…

I dedicate this post to all Burmese taxi drivers who work hard for relatively little money.

And, with this, not very appropriate to the occasion, upload, I’d like to wish all my TE friends a very Happy Easter. :-)

ikeharel, holmertz, pajaran, rychem, CLODO, PiotrF, macjake, jhm, ChrisJ has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Kasia Nowak (kasianowak) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1459 W: 7 N: 2873] (15452)
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